Decisive knock: CCC opener Anthony Alleyne, left, pulls Trinidad and Tobago spinner Yannick Ottley during the first semi-final of the Regional Super 50 at Kensington Oval on Thursday. Alleyne made a Man-of-the-Match 99 as the CC won by 140 runs. —Photo courtesy WICB Media

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MATTER OF CHOKING

Manager Khan laments ‘painful’ loss

By Roger Seepersad

Trinidad and Tobago’s 140-run loss to the Combined Campuses and Colleges in the Regional Super50 semi-final was not a result of overconfidence. It was not due to lack of preparation or out of form players.

Nor was it because of a lack of motivation.

Simply put, they choked.

That was the view of T&T manager Omar Khan, who said it was a painful sight to see his team surrender so easily at Kensington Oval, Barbados, on Thursday night.

“Very disappointing. Very heartbreaking. Painful to take.”

That is how Khan described T&T’s performance as they were dismissed for 92 in reply to CCC’s 232 for seven.

“Sitting from the outside and watching that performance, you have to wonder what went wrong. Knowing that we put in a lot of hard work, it was very painful to watch. At the end of the day, the batting again was the main problem,” said Khan

Going through what could have caused such a debacle after T&T booked their spot in the semis with as the only unbeaten team in the competition, Khan ruled out loss of focus, overconfidence, and lack of motivation as causes of the batting flop.

He said: “I don’t think it is a matter of losing focus. I think it was carelessness. Probably the batsmen not concentrating enough. It is not like the batsmen have been out of form. They went back to their clubs and scored runs so their confidence would have been high. It was a matter of poor shot selection which resulted in batsmen getting out at the wrong time.

“Overconfidence was not an issue. Complacency...that is something we guarded against and something we spoke about it in the team meetings. We tried to deal with that.

“It is difficult to identify what went wrong. Our batting has not been clicking and it is something we need to address. The players should be highly motivated. Playing a semi-final with all the West Indies selectors in attendance; you have players who are in the West Indies 30-man squad for the Champions Trophy and the match went out live on ESPN. What more can you ask for for motivation,” said Khan.

“It is again a mental thing. We had a plan and chasing a score of 232, we knew exactly how to approach it but when you lose so many wickets early on, it is difficult to come back, especially when you lose the top batsmen so cheaply,” he added.

Asked if he thought it was a matter of the team choking in the semi, Khan said: “Correct.”

Looking ahead, the manager insisted: “We have to get the guys out of this mood. Having failed so miserably, all the guys are disappointed but we have to lift ourselves. 

“We still have the four-day semifinal coming up and myself and the coach (David Williams) believe we are still capable of going to Jamaica and do well. The team just need to get that belief back, get that self-confidence back and get the guys thinking about their approach and what they have to do on a consistent basis so that they can be successful.” 

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